Thursday, January 2, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

January 2, 2014
New Year's Blizzard / -2 degrees
Yarmouth, Maine

Thoughts upon walking in the storm, with only light winds, at around 5pm. 
Not that I want to repeat this on a regular basis but the novelty of it was nice once. 

The world looks like a snow globe. Fuzzy flakes all around you, all different shapes, raining down like confetti on New Year's. Perfect white blobs in a perfectly white and perfectly quiet world. The air is sharp and invigorating. It is fresh and feels good to breathe, provided one is dressed for it. When you walk in it, you see a changed world. A white world. Few cars are on the street, and when you walk down it, walking fearlessly over the snow in your boots, you get the sense that the rules are somehow changed, that the world is a softer, kinder place. Eventually, your glasses fog and when you change direction, the wind blows the snow in your face. 

You can't see hardly anything, except vague shapes and a vague outline of snow and white. You have a vague sense of where the street ends and the sidewalk begins. You have a vague sense of how far right you have to be to stay out of the street and away from cars. But aside from that, you have to trust your body and your sense of place and time. You have to trust your feet to keep walking, your legs to point you in the right direction. Step by step, step by step, you propel yourself forward, trusting yourself to get in the right direction, to arrive at your destination even if your eyes can't necessarily tell where that is and how far away. Step by step. 

You trust your body to get you where you're going. When you get to your house, you almost miss it. It was an interesting walk, the light snow covering the intersecting and empty street making a perfect plateau for some light dancing. Almost as if you were ice skating. Yes, you think to yourself with a kind of muted glee, I *can* dance in the snow in a blizzard in -2 degrees. Yes, I can. You do it a few times with almost a sense of guilty pleasure before you decide you had better save some of your energy for the walk back. You wonder what the few passing cars, traveling rightfully so at a snail's pace, are thinking. You get out of their way and then return to the beautiful plateau of white and purity, illuminated so perfectly but so briefly by the overhead streetlight. And then you turn on your way, time to head home. 

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